Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 25 July 2007]: The Fleet relies on a layered defence approach to defeat an aerial attack. The backbone of the Fleet's ability to defend itself from air attack in the outer layer of maritime air defence will continue to be provided by destroyers. At present, this is achieved using the Type 42 Destroyers equipped with the medium range Sea Dart surface to air missile system. Type 45 Destroyers will gradually replace the Type 42 destroyers. These new ships will be armed with the Principal Anti Air Missile System, enhancing the Fleet's capability to counter the most sophisticated aircraft and anti-ship missiles in the world.
In the inner layer of Maritime Air Defence the Fleet's close range air defence capability will continue to be provided by Type 22 and Type 23 Frigates equipped with the Seawolf point defence missile system. Additional air defence capability will also come from a combination of close-in weapon (gun) systems, such as Goalkeeper and Phalanx, and decoys.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on researching enhanced blast munitions; what orders have been made for them; and what plans there are for future procurement of the munitions. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Ministry of Defence has current research programmes relevant to enhanced blast munitions valued at approximately £10 million, spread over more than five years. These are to investigate the underlying science and are aimed at the assessment of the threat to UK armed forces, what protection is appropriate, and the advantage of incorporation of such technology into weapons.
The MOD has one programme which incorporates enhanced blast technology, the Anti-Structures Munition (ASM), as announced by my predecessor on 6 February 2006, Official Report, column 34WS, due to enter service at the end of 2009. It will enable infantry to defeat hardened structures such as buildings or bunkers, reducing casualties to our forces while minimising collateral damage. In the interim an off the shelf system has been procured until the ASM becomes available. There are currently no plans for future procurement of enhanced blast munitions.
| Notes: 1. Both the Navy and the Army record AWOL statistics by the number of incidences of AWOL rather than the number of people who have gone AWOL, so there may be a number people who are represented more than once in these figures. 2. Figures are rounded to the nearest five and are as at 23 July 2007. 3. Differences in figures for individual years compared to previous answers occur because personnel may have been wrongly reported as AWOL in the first instance, or conversely they may have subsequently been found to have been AWOL and the records rectified later.|
There is no evidence to suggest that operational commitments or any other factors are causing a significant increase. There are a number of reasons why personnel may go AWOL but anecdotal evidence suggests that
most incidents are caused by domestic circumstances, such as family problems, rather than any wish to avoid military service.
Derek Twigg: The generous offer by the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association Forces Help (SSAFAForces Help) to use this property in Ashtead to provide short-term accommodation for families visiting relatives who are being treated at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC), Headley Court is very welcome. DMRC staff have advised that the accommodation, with minor alterations to facilitate access, will be entirely suitable for the proposed purpose.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will support the Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Families Association in its application to the local council to make alterations to its property in Ashtead, Surrey, for armed forces' families visiting Headley Court. 
Derek Twigg: As I made clear on a recent visit to Headley Court, when I opened a new ward, I am most grateful for the Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Helps offer to provide a property for the short-term accommodation of families visiting relatives being treated there.
The staff at Headley Court welcome such visits. The unit meets appropriate travel and subsistence costs, including overnight accommodation if it is in the patients interests to have their family close by. In addition to local hotels, accommodation currently available to visiting families includes Pigeon House, a four-bedroom house in the Headley Court grounds, and Dale View, a converted three-bedroom service married quarter.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the section of the transcript of the Bulford Camp court martial relating to advice on application of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
The trial in question lasted some six months and the transcript comprises approximately 15,000 pages. Evidence concerning advice on the application of the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights was given on 8 December 2006. An
electronic version of the complete trial transcript of open court sessions, including that day's evidence, will be made available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department made of the NHSs requirement for (a) psychologists, (b) psychiatrists, (c) mental health nurses and (d) occupational therapists in (i) 2006 and (ii) 2007. 
|Service consultant psychiatrists||Service mental health nurses|
DMSD quarterly manning return 1 April 2006/March 2007 PPSG.
As stated in my answer of 7 March 2007, Official Report, columns 1985-88W, the armed forces no longer employ uniformed psychologists and mental health occupational therapists, but the MOD does employ civilian clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health nurses. The required numbers for these grades are not held centrally. I will write to the hon. Member with these figures once they have been collated and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service families have been placed by MoDern Housing Solutions in (a) Premier Travel Inns and (b) other hotels in each year since 2005; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The Housing Prime Contract was awarded to MoDern Housing Solutions on 14 November 2005 and was rolled out in January 2006. The number of families placed in Premier Travel Inns and other hotels since 1 January 2006 is as follows:
|Premier Travel inns||Other hotels|
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent on travel costs for (a) members of the Army Board, (b) the Adjutant-General and (c) the Chief of the General Staff in 2006. 
These figures include accommodation costs for ministerial members of the Army Board, which cannot be separated from travel costs. Totals also contain travel costs incurred by the relevant Army Board Member and their supporting staff, where appropriate, but excludes spouses. Costs relating to military flights and use of official staff cars have not been included.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what safeguards the Government have put in place to ensure that (a) national security and (b) sensitive design and manufacture systems are safeguarded from foreign powers following the auction of the Government stake in the Atomic Weapons Establishment. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: As indicated by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform in his written statement to the House on 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 1WS, as part of the process of the sale of British Nuclear Group's share in AWE Management Ltd (AWEML), the Government will be seeking to ensure the enduring performance of AWEML in continuing to meet the requirements of its customer, the Ministry of Defence.
Such performance covers all aspects of work at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, with particular emphasis on the protection of national security and warhead design information, which are paramount considerations. We shall be applying a strict set of criteria in order to establish the acceptability of prospective purchasers before finalising an agreed shortlist of potential bidders. All factors will be taken into account in our analysis.
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